Governor Martin O’Malley said Wednesday that Congress’s inability to compromise on budget cuts has led to a situation where across-the-board cuts could slow Maryland’s economic growth.
O’Malley said in a press conference that 12,000 jobs could be lost statewide due to sequestration.
Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending in education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement.
Harford County—where the U.S. Department of Labor reports that 18,423 residents are employed by the federal government—stands to take a hit if Congress does not reach a compromise.
Specifically, base operation funding in Maryland would be cut by approximately $95 million, the White House said.
Aberdeen Proving Ground's spokesman told The Baltimore Sun that the post was preparing for 22 days of furloughs, under guidance from the Department of Defense.
Defense cuts "will have an impact countywide," Harford County's Office of Economic Development Director Jim Richardson told The Sun.
Richardson said the furloughs would lead to a reduction in pay and a reduction in spending in local restaurants and businesses. Furloughs would also have an impact on the government's ability to collect income tax, since 60 percent of the employees at Aberdeen Proving Ground live in Harford County.
O’Malley said the sequestration budget crisis combined with a cynical attitude toward federal government may create larger problems.
“What worries me most is that people become so cynical about their primary institution of government,” said O’Malley, “that they stop weighing in, that these games become another ho-hum; and meanwhile, our recovery stalls.”
“We need to get out of this vortex; the election is over,” said O’Malley.
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